Iggy and The Stooges | Ready To Die (Fat Possum)

readytodieIggy Pop and the Stooges delivers an album that combines Raw Power’s protopunk mastery with the addition of a sophistication befitting songs crafted by much more world-weary men.

 

 

Godfathers are known in pop culture for being godly in a wrathful way and fatherly in an estranged way. They show up almost unannounced years after leaving a bright legacy that carries through decades of cultural evolution only to tell us how we have disappointed them. And the truth can hurt, but the brutal truth is what we value in our gods and fathers.

In a follow-up to 1973’s Raw Power, godfather of punk Iggy Pop, guitarist James Williamson, and drummer Scott Asheton are reunited for the first time in four decades on a full album of new material in Ready To Die. Mike Watt of The Minutemen fame fills in on bass for the late Ron Asheton as the band delivers ten tracks that recall the same dynamic of Raw Power’s protopunk mastery, but with the addition of a sophistication befitting songs crafted by much more world-weary men. The sharpness of that weariness cuts through in the first four songs, delivered like punches to the face that seem to scream the question, “What the fuck have you all been doing to society for the last forty years?”

The track listing is well peppered with more somber and introspective compositions like “Unfriendly World,” “Beat That Guy,” and “The Departed,” in which Pop’s scratched baritone lingers along the dichotomy of lyrics that impart warning, frustration, and anthematic loss in the style of a soothing lullaby.

While the unabashed release of new high-energy material is a dangerous move for a lot of bands late in their careers, it is only a natural progression for Iggy and The Stooges, who have remained well in their element. And it only makes sense, as that element has refused over time to grow stagnant. Pop said this about the ultimate decision to record a new album, “My motivation in making any record with the group at this point is no longer personal. It’s just a pig-headed fucking thing I have that a real fucking group when they’re an older group they also make fucking records. They don’t just go and twiddle around on stage to make a bunch of fucking money…the only thing I have left to say is The Stooges are a real group.” A | Jason Neubauer

RIYL: Radio Birdman, The Sonics, MC5

 

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